tv Hardball With Chris Matthews MSNBC April 5, 2012 4:00pm-5:00pm PDT
we should learn from our past to plan our future, and instruction our behavior and involvement in the present. thanks for watching, i'm al sharpton, "hardball" starts now. fall into the gender gap, let's play some "hardball." >> good evening, i'm michael smerconish. in for chris matthews. the republican party has a problem with women, and mitt romney needs to close the gap president the gender gap exists only as a media fission and he worked caterpillars into his
vote, it's not clear how caterpillars feel about the vote, but it didn't help with women. plus, mitt happens, the most conservative republican party, is about to nominate the most moderate candidate in the field. if mitt romney loses the election, will we see the blood letting that we haven't seen since 1964, could it send the republican party further to the right in 2016? and they say they'll go after romney because he is a mor man. and the 50th anniversary of "to kill a mockingbird" is being screened at the white house tonight. we'll talk about why the movie and it's themes are so relevant still today. and let me finish with a crime, the death penalty, and a question of justice, we begin
with the chairman's comments. we have the editorial director of "the huffington post." pribus was asked about the party's women voters and he used an interests analogy. >> if they said we had a war on caterpillars, and every media outlet would talk about it, the fact of the matter is that it's a fiction. susan page, it's all your fault, what brought you to this conclusion? >> i know he did not mean to compare women to caterpillars in an insulting way, but a poor choice of words, i think he would acknowledge.
it's very etch-a-sketch-like. the image is such that he gets himself wrapped up in a new controversy. >> there is substance behind the charge of the gender gap. look at this from david axelrod says from the department of cluless, rnc leader -- >> it's hugely significant. he was clueless, and i was e-mailing this afternoon with some of those same people at obama head quarters, and one reason their pretty confident right now is the fact that there is an 18 point gender gap between president obama and mitt romney and between the democrats and the republicans in the polling right now. 18 points. that's huge, and that is something that gives the
democrats and the obama campaign confidence. >> howard, i have that to which you refer, look at these incredible numbers from a new poll out today. men and women, asked about the presidential race, there was a big gender gap. among men, barack obama and mitt romney in a virtual tie, but for women, it is an 18 point margin. this is is a gop brand issue as much as anything else. what do you think lies behind that data. >> we fin that men and women have different priorities. men ranked the debt and deficit at the top, and women ranked health care. women are concerned about the economy, but it's women dealing with health care, putting gas in the car, buying food at the store, worried about sending
their kids to college and affording the tuition. we also found that the debate over contraception is not the sole driver but it is a factor. one out of four women saying that issue is extremely important to determining their vote. other issues are more important, but that's a significant number of women paying attention that debate. >> and here is the divide on the issues according to that, according to the survey, men and women prioritize the issues differently. howard, take a look at this, for men, the most important issue is the deficit reduction, gas, health care, international issues, and unemployment. for women, health care most important, deficit reduction, and the national debt ranks number four. i recognize that birth control regulation is at number six. i can't help but thing when some females were saying health care is my top priority, they were encompassing a host of female
oriented medical issues. >> women are the one that's for the moths part worry about the health care of their families. and that is number one. if i can slice further, in talking to democrats working on key swing constituencieconstitu the hispanic vote, for hispanics and his panic women, health care is is over the top the most important issue to the point of like 60, 70, and 80%. and there will be advertisement in spanish trying to appeal to women on this issue. they wanted reform, wanted to spread health care costs, make it available to all to your families, kids, etc., and the government has a role in this. and that's going to be a consistent message for president obama. it will be very interesting to see what happens with the supreme court and how they rule on that, but however the supreme
court rules, it will be key now to election day. >> is it a problem that romney can solve with one decision, and that being his vp pick? >> no, there is traditionally a gender pick at some size, but it becomes problematic when you get into double digits. that's when it becomes an issue that will defeat you. it's not something for which there is one single bullet, not even the pick of a vice presidential running mate. it's something they need to start working on now, and i'm sure they are. >> speaking of women, jay carney was asked if the president would weigh in on a hot topic, ifwo n women should be allowed to join
the augusta golf club, they host the masters. >> translator: president's answer to this question is yes. he believes, his personal opinion is that women should be admitted. >> now mitt romney was asked to weigh in on women and augusta and he agreed with the president. >> of course, i'm not a member of augusta, i don't know that i would qualify, my golf game is not that god, but certainly if i were a member, and if i could be there, then of course i would have women in augusta. >> susan, everything is relevant, everything is fair game, including this, do you see it having legs or because they losely agree, perhaps not. >> you know, i think it has some -- i think it's part of the whole debate that i just know i'm the daughter of a member, my
mother is in the kansas golf hall of fame, and the idea that she can't be a member of augusta seems ridiculous. amy walter sent out a tweet saying membership should be based on your handicap, not your gender. >> i believe in free association, but i goat hosed by a country club once. >> i don't think, and i'm not much of a golfer, i don't think it should be based on the handicap. in the department of clueless, i would have the people that run augusta. if you have mitt romney, agreeing that women should be admitted, i think it's time for them to understand that especially the ceo of ibm, a big sponsor of the masters, and is traditionally given membership and invited to the golf club,
that person happens to be a female and she has not been invited. if i were she i would pull the sponsorship. >> the spokesman says they have no express prohibition, they just have never had one. so that asks the question, who are you waiting for? >> i think if she is ceo of ibm that's probably good enough. >> i remember going think this a few years ago, and the cuat is correct, they ran the masters with no commercials. >> i don't know if we settled it. thank you susan page and howard fineman. the pm party is dominated by tea partiers, and they're about to
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new poll numbers of the republican primary in pennsylvania, and it's not good for rick santorum, let's check the score board. a new poll has romney in the lead over santorum 42% to 37%. this is the first time that romney has overtaken santorum in his home state. it will up the pressure on santorum to get out before the april 24th contest. and new york, the third biggest delegate haul in the campaign, mitt romney is up big in a new poll 54% to 21%. baked alaska 5% cash back. right now, get 5% cash back at restaurants. it pays to discover.
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the massachusetts moderate is closing in on the party's nomination. how did he manage that and what might we see in the gop if romney loses in november. we have mark halperin, and sam stein who covers politics for the huffington post. were there too many conservatives dividing the vote? >> no, i don't think so. i think the template for a perfect tea party template is unachievement. everybody has their flaws. chris christie would have had his flaws. they all have certain deficiencies, even jim demint once backed the romney health care. i think people gravitated too romney. >> when i sit here and think about being in this chair, in
the midst of if you said to me then, the net effect will be a gop take overof the house, and then mitt romney as the nominee, where is the disconnect. >> i will risk hurting myself by patting myself on the back, there was a question. how much would the normal roles prevail. they have always picked the nominee, how much would they still dominate the process? i thought they would dominate and have less influence. mitt romney is out of step, he ran as a tea party candidate, being anti-the president, and big spending. he is not the perfect establishment candidate, but he clearly had the profile of the person that the party always
nominates. >> mark, by the way, you were on "morning joe" when they described the doom and gloom about mitt romney's chances this fall, let's watch this. >> can we just say this, the republican establishment, i have yet to meet someone in the republican establishment that thinks romney will win. they have to say it on tv because they have to go on tv and don't want people to write them nasty e-mails. i have yet to meet anybody in the republican establishment that worked for george w. bush -- >> as we await the sequel, does that comport with your reporting? is that what you're hearing from them? >> when the host of a show says something, you have two choices, you can say that's exactly right, or you can follow the
advice of if you can't say something nice don't say anything at all. i think there is pessimism in so the participants of the establishment. they signed one of the best strategist on the republican strategy. i think there are plenty of republican that's are cautiously optimistic and believe romney can win this. >> sam, what's your vibe on this issue of if these will be by gones when we get to the fall. >> the economy is going in a positive direction, but there are worries the economy will slow down over the summer. mitt romney has always been a more comfortable candidate in a general election show down as opposed to a primary election where he has to convince people he is conservative enough. i don't think the pessimism is
warranted, and keep in mind, the ultimate wild card is super pac money. and that could level the playing field in ways we can't even imagine. >> i still believe from day one it's a referendum of the president. romney's prospects rely on two tracks, abandoning the effort to be likable and settling for awkwardly endeering, and using a series of upcoming framing speeches to show the economic record. we got a little taste before the ap that attacked the ryan plan. >> and the president in his speech did a bring yent thing of drawing the republicans in to debate the process questions. to make it a debate of the rom any vision, the rom any plan, and the president's vision, rather than the president's record. we'll get a jobs number that everybody thinks will be better,
but it ram any has a chance, it's to make it a referendum on the president. we said it for months. the president want its to be a choice, it's playing out right now as the general election starts. that's what both saids are trying to do, exactly what they thought. and having to come across as endearing and goofy, they hope to equalize the economy gap. he has to make this about the economy or he has no chance to win. >> both sides would like to see paul ryan be the vp pick. in the house behind you, sam, is that the vibe? bring on ryan this would be perfect? >> of course. it wasn't too long ago that newt gingrich called it right wing social engineering. i bet that is is played back to
romney. the budget is a conservative budget and romney has embraced it. i don't think conservatives lost as much as we think they lost. they got mitt romney to move far to the right on issues critical to them. the bumt he h-- budget he had t revamp. >> that would be the most conservative pick, and i don't mean for politics, i mean the safest play, as far as from a game change as they can get. >> i think there are safer picks. paul ryan is we'll known, but he has never had the full cavity search that some of the other people who might be picked have had. and he is a young guy, and i think picking a younger guy is a risk as well. i don't think he is the safest pick, but in one respect he is safe. the people that pay the most attention to politics, and the
left would love thim, and the righting would love him. >> he also goes against mitt romney's mantra that you need someone that has not been in government. he spent a lot of time in washington from the staff level up to elected. >> thank you we appreciate your comments. up next, you might not know it, but david gregory is a master of impressions. his take on the candidates is next in the side show. you're watching "hardball." americans are always ready to work hard for a better future.
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david gregory sat down with jay leno last night and did an inside scoop. >> they all leave when the commercial starts. they don't want to be seen standing at their podium. rick santorum looks stressed and says david, you didn't come back to me on the exception of the medicare. and gingrich comes over, and then he'll say i only got one question, i should get two questions every segment. and then rick perry says this is great, having a great time. >> solid impressions, but romney didn't get a nod there. the proof is in the ad wars. romney verses reality. now it's turned into something of a mini series, and this is
what they dug up for part two. >> he apologized for america. >> he failed to communicate that military options are on the table. >>ly not hesitate to use force when it is necessary to protect the united states. >> in the state of the union, he did not mention the debt or the deficit. >> when it comes to the deficit we agreed on cuts and savings, debt, deficit, deficit, deficit -- >> i'm not sure what is worse -- yesterday in side show, we looked at some of the greatest hits that santorum and gingrich levelled at romney. >> so last night, newt gingrich was asked the same question we have, will obama use comments
like that one to slam romney in the election. >> when the time comes that somebody -- can you stand on stage and say that you support him? >> will the democrats use your words against him? >> they make stuff up anyway. >> i would say it's more likely that we're going to see back pedaling from the backers. up next, warn hatch says the obama campaign will play the mor man card against romney, but is he forgetting who went after president obama claiming he was a muslim? you can follow me on twitter.
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here is what is is happening, connecticut may become the 17th state to ban the death penalty. the senate voted to repeal it and there is strong support in the house and the governor says he will sign it. rick perry parades first reuponers for their hard work. and churn in california can still get toys in their happy meals. let's get you back to "hardball." >> welcome back to "hardball," our strath guests are back tonight to discuss two trending topic this is week. rick santorum met with conservatives to help bring together the vote and to discuss how to get newt gingrich to drop
out. and warn hatch says the president will use romney's morman faith against him. we have todd harris here, if you have santorum's ear today, what would you tell him to do? >> two words, drop out. the legacy of the santorum campaign will boil down to one of two things. there is everything that has happened until this moment, and then everything going forward. if he were to get out now, i think the legacy of the campaign would be a leader that came from behind. he went to near front runner status overnight. he ran a hell of a race. if he stays in and runs a smear campaign against someone that everybody knows will be the nominee, he risks his legacy of
being a politician that put self interests ahead of beating the president. >> i thought he was hanging tough because he wanted to erase that part of his legacy that is an 18 point loss to bob cascase junior. 37% close san tomorrow in the native state, and that option may be off of the possible. when we come back in 2016, at least nobody with ask me about that casey loss any more. >> i think you just said something that's important to remember, when we come back in 2016, and that is really what's going on here. it was a group of conservative leaders that wanted to feed mitt romney and they have been successful so far. they hold a secret meeting that gets leaked, and i think rick
santorum is caught between a legacy of a sore loser and a spoiler, and someone that wants to be the choice in 2016, so he is flirting with everybody that can put him in that position. if he boloses pennsylvania he m have nothing less. you're in the room in the conservatives, now advice the group. if the objective is conservative policy, what should they as a group be doing? >> look, just because they're not wild about mitt romney, this group of conservatives. a, compared to president obama, every person in that rom would probably agree that romney is a far better option. if they can't get excited about romney, get excited about the house races, get excited about
trying to take over the senate. there's all kinds of avenues where the conservative movement could be flowing and channelled that are more productive than this quick dream of somehow getting newt out and that would put santorum over the top. >> i'm not convinced that would change the dynamic at all. yesterday, santorum made the point that the gop needs to go with a real conservative nominee this time. >> the best chance for us to win is to put up candidate like we did in 1980, not like we did in 1976. and that's what the focus is going to be. let's try to make sure that we have the strongest possible candidate to be able to win a very, very critical election. >> steve mcmann, after a lot of well paid for speeches, it's now 2016, and he says i told you so. you nominated a moderate, that's
why we lost, and now we need a conservative. >> you can take that clip, change the dates, and refer it back to 2012, and that is what he will be saying. the republican establishment believes for the most part i think, they're worried that mitt romney will lose this time. and after he loses, rick santorum will rise and say if we nominated a true conservative and given people a real choice, we would have been successful. there are a lot of people that believe that, and for rick san torl, the question is how do you get out and preserve that opportunity and viability in the future. staying in and getting beat ten more times. >> a different interpretation. we could say that the party went off the rails, and should have moved back to the center before they drove those folks away. i want to move on to senator
warn match that predicted that bama will use mitt romney's they said, you watch, to througt him, and to say they're not going to smear him is bologna. >> they say attacking a religion is out of bounds and our campaign will not engage in it, and this is what debby wasserman schultz said yes. >> that is nonsense. let's remember that president obama had so many things hurled at him. birth certificate questions, whether he is or is not a christian. for them to suggest that
religion will be injected by president obama and the democratic party, they need to take a look inward at the accusations that their party and supporters hurled before they take that step. >> todd harris, i don't expect that to happen, but the media is everybody in pj's some that feet in them. somebody will play it up, and then it will be a question of if you can tie it to a campaign, how do you see it? >> senator hatch is in the middle of a tough primary battle, and my guess is that he was looking to fire up his base a little bit. i don't think there's a lot to this story. i would not be shocked in the obama campaign or the drs.nc di anything to challenge governor romney on his faith. that doesn't mean that there won't be whisper campaigns, and
people talking about see, he is not like us for this host of reasons, i would be shocked if that didn't happen, but as far as making governor romney's faith an issue, i don't think it will happen. >> i think david gregory said something last night, an said mitt romney's faith is his core, here is how he said it. >> this is the core of who mitt romney is, he was a missionary in france for two years, he was a bishop which is like a priest. he has made a lot of contributions, had a lot of impact, it's the core of who he is. >> i think there is a lot of truth in that, steve, advise the other side of the aisle. if you were whispering in his ear, would you say it's okay to address some of those things? >> i think he would benefit.
john kennedy gave a speech in texas at a religious group where he said i'm a catholic, i'm perfectly being president of the united states and recognizing the separation between church and state. i don't think romney has a religion problem, but i think people would be reassured if they heard that from them, and because it's such a big part of his core, he ought to address it and make it part of his narrative. people are wondering who he is, and his wife that fell in love with him that said he was funny, witty, and charming, if people saw more of that from him including his core, he would be better off. i still think the president would beat him, but it would be a much more difficult race if people had a better understanding of him as a person. >> i agree with you, and he
ought to be the guy cracking up about himself before waiting for the late night comedians. we appreciate it, thank you for being here. up next, the president screens "to kill a mocking bird" tonight at the white house. it's been around for 50 years, but these days it's as relevant as ever. this is "hardball." man: okay, no problem. it's easy to get started; i can help you with the paperwork. um...this green line just appeared on my floor. yeah, that's fidelity helping you reach your financial goals. could you hold on a second? it's your money. roll over your old 401(k) into a fidelity ira and take control of your personal economy. this is going to be helpful. call or come in today. fidelity investments. turn here.
battleground states that will help decide the presidential election, and right now they're looking godden for president obama. let's check the score board. right now, if the election were held today, president obama would beat him 51 to 43 in nevada. that eight point margin is the same margin obama won the state by in 2008. we'll be right back. ♪ [ cellphone rings ] ♪ ♪ you do ♪ something to me ♪ that nobody else could do
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merits to feel sorry for a white woman has had to put his word against two white people's. the department is not guilty. >> that, of course, is gregory peck in "to kill a mocking bird" president obama is honoring the film's 50th anniversary, and with a televised introduction to the national broadcast on sat. nbc analyst michael eric dyson, and clarence paige join me now. this resonated so much with my wife that atticus made the list of names for our first child. why does it have such staying power? >> i think it speaks to the very
moral conscious that is at the heart of the struggle over black and white and white and wrong and the self definition of america, able to rise above the weight of the legendary and sorry past to go into the future. when martin loout every king spoke about the conscious of white people, he was a stand in to speak volumes about the ethical necessity to treat ones brother and sister, regardless of color, as an equal. it wasn't a message coming from the outside, from an african-american, but from the culture itself. >> did that make it easier to broach some of these subjects because she was a female, and still with us. >> yes, and she was in the middle of that kind of
situation. they're real life people including her own father and the charm ter that leading the story. that kor spons to her up in the col -- corresponds to her up in the blackba -- they stopped practices child law after that, there are so many layers to this story, but michael is right, this depicts a narrative that haunts america's memory. throughout history you see books like this, "uncle tom's cabin" is one that black readers were ambivalent about but really struck white readers at the time. it helped lead an era of the civil war. you see this kind of story recuring and it's also what made the oj simpson verdict so
shocking, because in the eyes of many people, this was the reverse side of that narrative, it turned it on it's he'd. while black folks were relieved, white folks were shocked that a black man could get away with two murders. >> hey, captain, somebody told me just now that they thought that they believed tom robinson's story. i said you're wrong, man. you're dead wrong. mr. finch isn't taking this story. well, they was wrong, wasn't they? >> i've been appointed to ted robinson. now that they have been charged
that's what i intend to do. >> rate him. president obama. are you satisfied in ways that he's engaged the nation in dialogue on these sensitive issues? >> well, president obama is in a very difficult situation. most white americans don't want to hear anything about race, especially from primarily african-american perspective that seeks to even bring some calm and restore some order to what is often a chaotic and undisciplined affair. at the same time, the president knows he has to speak to serious issues that matter most, not only to african-american people but to american people. 17.5 is not a black tragedy, it's an american tragedy. look what happened when he spoke out at harvard, what happened even when he said if i have a son he looked like trayvon in the white wing minutes meat out of that statement. the president has to walk a very genuinely delicate line between
offending the masses of white americans, not just the right wing but many liberals don't engage the issue of race. we'd all rather not deal with it rather than confront it head on. president obama has not been the educator in chief when it comes to issues of race because he realizes he doesn't have as much white privilege as a guy like bill clinton who could engage us than he can even as president of the united states of america as a black man. >> clarence, is that an assessment that you share. >> well, certainly whatever president obama has gotten rid of off the cuff, he's run into problems. there are only teachable moments available to him. to kill a mockingbird is available when chicago started the read a book program. they push for every child in chicago to read the to kill a mockingbird. that was the first novel that was picked out for the very reason that it's sold so well.
it's the best selling book on race, a fictional book on race in american history, if that's possible. because it's certainly very, very popular these days. and maybe this could be a launch pad for it. >> it's a sensational movie and it's timeless. thank you very much, michael, eric for your time tonight. >> thank you, michael. you can watch "to kill a mockingbird" this saturday at 8:00 p.m. eastern time. when we return, let me finish with a matter of life and death. you're watching "hardball." carfirmation.
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let me finish tonight with this. early this morning connecticut took a big step towards becoming the 17th state to abolish the state penalty. it's largely along partisan lines that would have a life in prison with no chance of release. the governor has pledged to sign it. any time a state makes a change
in course it's significant, but even more so in connecticut because of what happened on july 23rd, 2007. that day, two criminals broke into dr. william petit's home, tied him up in the basement, over several hours, his wife jennifer was taken to the bank and raped and ultimately strangled to death. his daughter tied to her bed and sexually assaulted and the girls died of smoke inhalation when they poured gasoline throughout the house and set it on fire. now, both assailants were captured, convicted, and sentenced to death. yesterday, dr. petit was among those who oppose the death penalty appeal despite the prospective nature. meaning that the 11 men, currently his tortures among them, would still face execution. capital punishment would only be abolished for those convicted of
capital capital offenses in the future. when a jury imposes such a sentence, it's important to carry it out. i doubt that caveat is comforting to dr. petit, especially where they have waived the appeal and asked for it. we, too, have the death penalty in name only since capital punishment was reinstated in the commonwealth back in 1978, only three people have been put to death and, again, they each gave up their appeals. the state's last contested execution was carried out way back in 1962. in the intervening five decades, the justice system has been gradually manipulated into a process that cod dells its worst offenders at the expense of real victims. men like dr. petit lose twice when appeals because the court system will not